Shooting Challenge: Great British Weather

By Martin Snelling on at

I’ve been reliably informed that one of the most requested features for Giz UK is for its own Shooting Challenge; the very popular photography competitions that appear on the AUS and US Gizmodo sites. Every two weeks I’ll be setting a new photographic challenge designed to get your creative juices flowing while hopefully sharing some nuggets of knowledge along the way. As well as slipping in the odd double entendre (because I’m immature and should really grow up).

So, I’ve been sitting here with lots of ideas bouncing around inside my head thinking about what would make a suitable first challenge while hoping that the skies aren’t going to shower my laundry in two inches of rain. And then it popped to the front of my brain: The very-British weather we've been having recently.


The Challenge:

This first shooting challenge is quite straightforward and easy; take a photo that captures the great British weather -- rain or shine.


The Technique:

This challenge is less about camera technique or settings, and more about the subject. It doesn’t matter what you use; I’m looking for images that really capture our ‘amazing’ weather. It could be lightning strikes between two hills; raindrops on courgettes, or someone struggling with an umbrella. Extra kudos will be given to small children in yellow raincoats or red umbrellas.

Really think about what it is you want to capture and prepare; don’t just go out and hope to find ‘the shot’. Think about composition; find your ‘frame;’ take some test shots, and wait for the subject to enter the frame.

If you prefer to walk around to find your winning image and you see an opportunity that involves strangers, please approach them,; talk to them; ask them if they mind you taking their picture -- the least they can say is no. Remember to always be polite, and don’t be hostile; put yourself in their shoes.

Some Photoshopping is OK -- basic levels adjustments; cropping; straightening -- that sort of thing.

Incidentally, I had to stop writing this to run and get the laundry in as the skies did indeed open up.


The Example:

The example image was shot by myself yesterday; it really was a miserable day. Believe it or not, but I shot it on my Samsung Galaxy S II. So, it just goes to show that you really don't need a fancy DSLR to enter this shooting challenge.

I really liked how the image shows the great British weather and our disregard for broken things...not to mention how Britain is Not So Great Britain when it comes to littering.


The Rules:

- Submissions MUST be your own work.
- Photos must be taken after the challenge was published; so no portfolio shots please.
- Explain, briefly in your submission email, the equipment, settings, technique used and more importantly for this challenge, the story behind the shot. Please ensure EXIF info is intact (if image was taken digitally).
- Email submissions to, not me.
- Please ensure your image is at least 600px wide and less than 3MB in size.
- Save your image as a JPG, and use the following naming convention FirstnameLastnameWeather.jpg
- Don’t forget to include a shooting summary (see above).
- Send your best photo (only one submission per person) by Monday, June 18th at 10am UK time with “Great British Weather” in the subject line.
- Anyone can enter, regardless of location.
- The most important rule -- HAVE FUN!

Martin Snelling is a Hampshire-based man-about-town who works in the videogame industry. A keen photographer, Martin shoots on film and digital, and blogs here, while also tweeting here.